When people feel a sense of belonging at work, it leads to greater innovation, happier teams, and growth for your organization. But what can we do in our-day-to-day work to ensure inclusion? At Aperian, we know that one small change can have a lasting positive impact. (We see it happen every day!) Here are three practical ways you can start making changes right now to advance inclusion and enable growth at your organization.
1. Consider culture.
One of the biggest influences behind how we act at work is our cultural background. Whether we work for a local company or a global one, all workplaces are becoming increasingly more diverse, and it’s helpful to be aware of the similarities and differences between us all. For example, in more egalitarian cultures like the United States and Australia, people may feel more comfortable asking leaders questions and actively brainstorming new ideas with others. Whereas in more status-oriented and hierarchical cultures like those in Asia, people feel more comfortable contributing within their structured roles and may prefer to come up with new ideas in smaller groups of peers.
Having tools available like the GlobeSmart® Profile to understand your colleagues’ preferred working styles will grow your awareness and help to bridge the similarities and differences. Additionally, our 100+ GlobeSmart Guides are the perfect resource for learning about business practices, communication norms, and other valuable cultural insights that will help you build relationships and do business with people of all different identities and backgrounds.
2. Leverage similarities and differences.
Once you have an awareness of the work styles present on your teams, you can begin to take advantage of the similarities and differences. While similarities among team members at first can feel more comfortable, differences bring new, innovative ideas to the table and help you avoid group-think. Perhaps you like to take risks more than one of your colleagues, who prefers to be more certain before trying something new. Rather than being a pain-point, this difference can be a strength—your colleague can help prepare for the risks and ensure the idea is well thought out, while you can bring the idea to life and execute with confidence. Both work style preferences are valuable and contribute to a healthy, innovative workplace. You and your clients have much to gain from a widened perspective and respect for diversity.
Beyond work-style preferences, tools like the Inclusive Behaviors InventorySM can help you assess what your behaviors look like in the workplace. After taking a survey, you can discover where you excel and where you have room for improvement when it comes to inclusion. With greater awareness and intention, and an action plan in place, you can start to take the practical steps toward more inclusive collaboration.
3. Get others involved.
Inclusion isn’t a solo venture, and taking the journey together is key to ensuring sustained growth—both personally and for your organization. Through GlobeSmart Profile comparisons, colleagues can see how their work styles interact, and custom insights provide advice for flexing work styles to engage more effectively and respectfully.
The Profile provides a shared language that helps build and maintain inclusion at all levels of your organization. Soon enough you will hear comments in meetings like: “I know this is my risk-orientation speaking…” or “I want to give some time and space for feedback outside of this meeting for those who may not feel comfortable speaking up now.” Behaviors like this catch wind quickly, and can have a real, tangible impact on your workplace efficiency, retention, and growth.
Start a 14-day free trial of Aperian to start using these tools now to create a lasting change at your organization—and beyond.